- Chris Sprow
Each week this season, Chris Sprow will consult with Vegas experts, such as Jay Kornegay of the Vegas Hilton; use projection systems, such as AccuScore; and dive into the numbers to point out which teams the human voters are over- and underselling.
On Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys went to New York and lost to the Jets, a predictable outcome based on most of the pregame assessments, both from a personnel standpoint and from a personal one. The Jets are, on paper, a bit better, and Rex Ryan made it clear that the stakes for this game were enormous.
Yes, it was a predictable outcome. But there was this annoying detail in that game: The Cowboys had more passing yards, rushing yards, first downs, time of possession, yards per play, tackles for loss and QB hits. This while starting a pair of rookie O-linemen in a baptism by fire against Ryan's schemes. If not for Jim Leonhard shoving Jason Witten out at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter -- which led to the first of a pair of gaffes from an otherwise fantastic Tony Romo -- this looks like a drubbing the other way.
"But the Jets won!" is a fair point. But for those who both watched and look at numbers, projections and the view from the sharps, that almost feels cute. If you want cute, go with John John.
Reality says that the Jets, while a very good team with realistically high expectations -- though can people stop asking Mark Sanchez to be Derek Jeter before he's 25? -- are ranked too high in the Power Rankings this week.
Power Rankings slot: No. 27
Win projection average: 7.5
Super Bowl odds: 100-1
The Bills are your high school friend who always got into trouble, couldn't get into any decent schools and whom your parents didn't like. The committee is your parents when you told them that friend just bought a 12,000-square-foot house at age 28 because of the success of his work-from-home business. One part impressed, four parts suspicious. I understand the suspicion, but they only jumped three places? Two things here: For one, this win showed growth. Buffalo lost at KC last year 13-10 in an OT game it should have won. (Rian Lindell legitimately got iced. The kicker kind.). Sunday was an absolute drubbing. Second, the numbers say Buffalo makes a big leap in win projections, higher than 14 other teams.
2hEric D. Williams
1dBy Ian O'Connor